Medical Joke – LEEP

LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It is a method of removing part of the cervix with abnormal changes with high risk of developing into cervical cancer. Basically it involves a metal loop superheated with electricity that is used to slice and dice… while the heat cauterises the tissue and prevents bleeding.

We were taught today that LEEP has been shown to give increased risk of pregnancy complications. Therefore, LEEP should not be used without due indication.

To investigate abnormal changes in the cervical epithelium, one goes through a few steps:
(1) Pap smear for screening
(2) Colposcopy (looking at the cervix under a microscope and adding dyes)
(3) Biopsy and Histology

You can’t biopsy without doing colposcopy first.

The danger of doing a cone biopsy without first having identified the extent of the entire lesion means that you might end up removing part of the lesion, leaving bits inside that may progress to a full blown cancer a few years down the road. The purpose of LEEP (or laser or surgical knife excision) is to remove the entire lesion. So the colposcopy must be acceptable first.

The moral of the story: Look before you LEEP.



One response to this post.

  1. LAME! *groans*


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